Last week, I was in a webinar with a focus on influencer marketing and I found it striking how this specific type of marketing has grown from a rumour to a literal branch of the ‘’new age’’ marketing tree.
For those who don’t know, according to Sprout Social, influencer marketing is a social media methodology that uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers – individuals who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts within their niche. Influencer marketing works because of the high amount of trust that influencers have built up with their followings, and recommendations from them serve as a form of social proof to the brand’s potential customers.
Many major brands have not only started taking influencer marketing seriously, but are also starting to include influencers in their always-on campaigns. Talkability is the name of the game, and that is where the winning formula lies. We are seeing instances where big names in the industry are teaming up with brands on both short and long lead campaigns with exponential results. The winning formula? Aligning the brand with correct and relevant influencers.
Not sure where to begin? Here’s a short list of what to keep in mind when searching for the correct influencers for your brand:
- Research influencers that resonate with your target audience, who would represent your brand well, and that generate high rates of engagement with their fans
- Set a budget
- Decide on strategy and messaging
- Make contact with your selected influencers and maintain good relationships
- Have a strong strategy plan, but be agile – make changes where needed
Preparation is key to success. And to add another spanner into the influencer mix, this is where we also tie in the Digital PR side of things for an extra boost to help reach your target and objectives. While influencer marketing can be a great approach, it is only part of the story when building a presence on the internet and building reputation for brands.
And like in PR itself, influencer marketing only works when you get your platforms right. Even traditional media like TV and radio can be given a new spin by throwing an influencer into the mix – though digital methods tend to be more accessible for smaller businesses hoping to dip their toes into the influencer pool.
In the post-COVID-19 age, it’s predicted that the lifestyle businesses hardest hit by the pandemic – hotels, restaurants, airlines and many others – will face severe uphill battles to restore trust in consumers. Influencers, already known for their good value in these markets, will be essential to the process. So while these particular players in the marketing world may have taken a knock due to the pandemic, we think it’s likely their stars will rise again sooner rather than later.